Currently viewing the category: "Calls for Papers"
Nonhuman Artists: Challenging Anthropocentrism in Art History

Ninth Annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium
Organized by the Graduate Union of the Students of Arts
Online and In Person, University of Toronto

Keynote Address: Rebecca Zorach, Northwestern University

The Graduate Union of the Students of Art (GUStA) at the University of Toronto is pleased to present the Ninth Annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium in cooperation with the Department of Art History.

In art history, notions of artistic creation, identity, and agency are often underpinned by an anthropocentric framework that hampers critical reflection on non-human actors in the making and circulation of images and artefacts. This symposium seeks to explore non-anthropocentric perspectives to artistic practice by confronting the ‘animal’, ‘inorganic’, or even ‘divine’ limits of art-making, and examining the degree to which the works of art both past and present continue to be shaped by agencies and currents of power that resist or exceed human control. We encourage submissions from students and scholars working on visual and material culture in any period or region, as well as those engaging with theoretical insights in eco-criticism, history of science and technology, media theory, archaeology and anthropology.

Examples of research area include, but are not limited to:

  • anthropocentrism in art history
  • political agency of animals in art
  • the limit between art and nature, organic and inorganic in art-making (nature as painter/artist/artisan, lusus naturae, nature print, photography)
  • indigenous place-thought and land-based consciousness
  • the limits of notions such as agency, intentionality, and consciousness and meaningful ways to articulate agency, consciousness or thought proper to images and artefacts
  • material agency; artists ‘listening’ to what their work/material/tool ‘wants’
  • analogies between the artist and their tools (retina/lens, finger/brush, etc.)
  • diverse strategies used to circumvent or relinquish human agency, intention, or willpower in art-making (Acheiropoieta, role of accident and chance, automatism and the unconscious
  • art generated by new digital technologies (e.g. Google Lens, Deep Dream Generator)
  • the dehumanization of artists in political, ideological and colonial contexts

The Ninth Annual Wollesen Memorial Graduate Symposium takes place on March 18, 2022. To allow for flexibility amid ongoing pandemic, the symposium will be arranged in a hybrid format, with in-person meeting held at Hart House, St. George Campus. Speakers participating online have the option of presenting live or submitting a pre-recorded presentation. Presentations are 20 minutes in length, followed by a live discussion period. We will be requesting submissions of completed manuscripts for publication in the symposium proceedings.

Please submit 250-word paper abstracts accompanied by a 100-word bio (.doc/.docx/.pdf) to the Graduate Union of the Students of Art at gustasymposium@utoronto.ca by February 4, 2022, at 5 PM ET. If you would like to submit a request for an organized panel session consisting of three papers, please ask all authors in the session to submit individual abstracts and send us a separate email containing the names and email addresses of all session speakers. Applicants will receive email notification no later than Friday, February 25, 2022, at 5PM ET.

For more information, please visit https://gustasymposium.wordpress.com. Queries regarding submissions should be directed to gustasymposium@utoronto.ca

 

The 2022 John Douglas Taylor Conference committee at McMaster University welcomes interdisciplinary proposals for presentations for Diasporic Solidarities: Islands, Intimacies, and Imagining Otherwise. Conference presentations should engage with the complexities of constellating solidarities in so-called North America and in relation to historical and contemporary transnational flows of people, information, and capital with particular focus on the island (including land, movement to-from-and-away, Turtle Island, and more). The conference format will be virtual and synchronous via Zoom webinar. The two-day conference program features a plenary session and several research panel presentations.

Conference Dates: June 9-10, 2022

Please see the full CFP on our website: diasporicsolidarities.ca/cfp

Please submit 150-word proposal and 75-word bio to jdtcon@mcmaster.ca

Proposal Submission Deadline: January 20, 2022

 

CALL FOR PAPERS for a Special Issue of Studies in World Cinema
Elemental World Cinema
Guest editors: Tiago de Luca and Matilda Mroz

Recent strands of ecocriticism have stressed the urgency in thinking about the environment on the basis of its elemental constitution rather than an amorphous ‘nature’ supposedly separate from humans (Macauley 2010; Cohen & Duckert 2015; Peters 2015). Superseded by atomism and particle physics, the four elements – air, earth, fire and water – reappear in these accounts as more concrete entities with which to recalibrate our interaction with the natural world in the so-called Anthropocene. This is the case especially as such elements have become the harbingers and carriers of ecological catastrophe in the form of atmospheric pollution, water contamination, uncontrollable mega-fires and land devastation. Inspired by this research, this special issue of Studies in World Cinema will investigate cinema’s interaction with the natural elements, and in so doing forge a much needed conversation between the fields of world cinema and ecocinema (Willoquet-Maricondi 2010; Rust et al. 2013; Ivakhiv 2013).

Cinema and the elements are indissolubly entwined. As John Durham Peters (2015) notes, the current concept of media as informational and communicational technologies obscures the fact that, up into the nineteenth century, the word medium was used to describe the natural elements as dynamic vessels and environments that sustain existence. The elements are always moving. For this very reason, when the first technological mass medium emerged at the end of that century – that is to say, cinema – it immediately nurtured an obsession with recording elemental shapes and forms: rippling waves, swirling dust, swaying foliage, as well as tornados, floods, cyclones and earthquakes. Whether in its gentle or ferocious manifestations, elemental vitalism asserted cinema’s medium-specific ability to capture the infinitely shape-shifting vagaries of motion (Schonig 2018; Beugnet 2017).

But cinema, as we know, would not be content with merely recording the world. Swiftly turned into a medium that builds story worlds, it began to artificially recreate the environment in purposefully built studios, channelling elements as resources for artificially created weather systems (McKim 2013; Fay 2018) and leaving its own ‘cinematic footprint’ (Bozak 2012) behind. This oscillation between capturing and fabricating, depending and acting upon the elements underpins the entire history of cinema, and yet an elemental history of world cinema is yet to be written.

This special issue hopes to contribute to such a task. It proposes to bring to the fore elements often deemed peripheral or ‘incidental’ (Vaughan 1999) to human action, a figure-ground reversal that can help us decentre humanity within the cinematic sensorium and imaginary. On the other hand, world cinema history is replete with films that have foregrounded and/or thematised the four elements, whether separately or combined. From Joris Ivens’s Rain (1929) to Alexander Dovzhenko’s Earth (1930), from Amir Naderi’s Water, Wind, Dust (1989) to Deepa Mehta’s elemental trilogy ( Fire, 1996; Earth, 1999; Water, 2005), from Andrei Tarkovsky (Bird 2008) to Naomi Kawase, from contemporary ‘slow cinema’ to ‘green’ documentaries, the elements make themselves present in cinematic world-making in a variety of utopian and dystopian configurations, and through diverse modes, genres and traditions. In its call for a rewriting of film history from an elemental standpoint, this special issue hopes to reconfigure the often abstract worldhood of world cinema into the very physical world we inhabit and upon which we – and cinema – depend for elementary survival.

We invite contributions related, but not exclusive to, the following topics:

  • Early cinema and the four elements
  • Cinema’s extraction of elemental resources
  • Cinema’s recording of elemental manifestations
  • Cinema’s fabrication of elemental processes
  • Philosophical approaches to elemental figurations in the cinema
  • The elements as harbingers of environmental collapse
  • Elemental activism and environmental (in)justice
  • Material feminisms and eco-feminist theory and filmmaking
  • Indigenous ecocinemas and philosophies
  • The elements and the Anthropocene in world cinema

Timeline for contributions:
Proposals, consisting of a title and a 3/400-word abstract + a short author’s bio, should be sent to t.de-luca@warwick.ac.uk and matilda.mroz@sydney.edu.au prior to 31 January 2022. Notifications of acceptance or non-acceptance will be sent out in late February.
The submission deadline for accepted, full articles (max 8,000 words) is 1 August 2022. All contributions will undergo double-blind peer review. Publication is planned for late spring 2023.
Any queries should be addressed to Tiago de Luca and Matilda Mroz (t.de-luca@warwick.ac.uk and matilda.mroz@sydney.edu.au).

Works cited:

  • Beugnet, Martine (2017) ‘Introduction’ in Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron and Arild Fetveit (eds) Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 1-13.
  • Bird, Robert (2008) Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema. London: Reaktion Books.
  • Bozak, Nadia (2012) The Cinematic Footprint: Lights, Camera, Natural Resources. New Brunswick, New Jersey and London: Rutgers University Press.
  • Cohen, Jerome Jeffrey and Duckert, Lowell (eds.) (2015) Elemental Ecocriticism: Thinking with Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Fay, Jennifer (2018) Inhospitable World: Cinema in the Time of the Anthropocene. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Ivakhiv, Adrian J. (2013) Ecologies of the Moving Image: Cinema, Affect, Nature. Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
  • Macauley, David (2010) Elemental Philosophy: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water as Environmental Ideas. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
  • McKim, Kristi (2013) Cinema as Weather: Stylistic Screens and Atmospheric Change. New York: Routledge.
  • Peters, John Durham (2015) The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
  • Rust, Stephen, Salma Monani and Sean Cubitt (eds.) (2013) Ecocinema Theory and Practice. New York and London: Routledge.
  • Schonig, Jordan (2018) ‘Contingent Motion: Rethinking the “Wind in the Trees” in Early Cinema and CGI’, Discourse 40:1, pp. 30–61
  • Vaughan, Dai (1999) For Documentary: Twelve Essays. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Willoquet-Maricondi, Paula (ed.) (2010) Framing the World: Explorations in Ecocriticism and Film. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press.
 

Pre-Constituted Panel Calls for Abstracts

Panel proposals for The Annual Conference of the Film Studies Association of Canada (FSAC), May 12-15, 2022. Please review the pre-constituted panel call for abstracts below. If you are interested in applying for any of them send the required abstract and bio to the specific panel chair by January 15th.

Each panel chair will inform you of their decision by January 25th and the abstracts they have selected to be included in their final submission will be sent to the Conference Committee on January 31

If your paper is not selected for the panel you have applied for you are welcome to submit it as an individual paper for the January 31 deadline (see the larger 2022 Conference CFP for more details).

 

Appel à propositions pour panels préconstitués 

Vous trouverez ci-bas des propositions de panels pour la conférence annuelle de l’Association canadienne d’études cinématographiques (ACÉC), qui se tiendra du 12 au 15 mai 2022. Veuillez consulter les appels à propositions des panels préconstitués ci-dessous. Si vous souhaitez postuler pour l’un d’entre eux, envoyez le résumé et la biographie requis au(x) responsable(s) du panel en question d’ici le 15 janvier 2022.

 Chaque président·e de panel vous informera de sa décision d’ici le 25 janvier. Les propositions ainsi sélectionnées pour être incluses dans leur soumission finale et envoyées au Comité de la conférence le 31 janvier.

 Si votre proposition n’est pas sélectionnée pour le panel pour lequel vous avez postulé, nous vous invitons à la soumettre en tant que présentation individuelle pour la date limite du 31 janvier (voir l’appel général de la Conférence 2022 pour plus de détails).


Panel Call Table of Contents

  1. Reframing the Nation: Racialized/Queer Diasporic Independent Women Filmmakers in Canada
  2. Making Spaces for Repair, Making Room for Other Virtual Reality Futurities
  3. Antenational Cinemas: Rethinking Indigenous and Canadian Images
  4. Social Media as Cinemas of Attraction
  5. Utopies adolescentes à la télévision/TV Teen Utopias
  6. Passages, Transitions, and Transformations: Imagining Intersectional Feminist Media and Film Futures
  7. Living Archives and Counter-Archives in Film, Video, and Media Arts in Canada
  8. Experiments in Independent Film & Media in Canada

 

 

 


 

1. Reframing the Nation: Racialized/Queer Diasporic  Independent Women Filmmakers in Canada 

This panel is dedicated to a close engagement with films produced by racialized and  queer racialized independent women filmmakers in Canada. It aims to ignite conversations around the often underexamined cinematic visions, perspectives, and  legacies of especially first and second generation racialized/queer women filmmakers  engaged in independent filmmaking between 1980-2020 across Canada. The particular focus is on independent production across all moving image genres and formats,  encapsulating artistic practices rooted in personal, political, aesthetic, cultural,  philosophical, and/or social justice concerns. We hope to explore the fraught relationship  that can arise in independent production between arts funding and policy, and  artistic/creative agency especially for minoritized groups. Further, we are interested in  exploring how queer/queer diasporic women filmmakers contribute to and/or challenge  national and settler narratives through their creative practice.  

 

Submissions can explore the following: 

  • Theoretical explorations of diasporic works by Canadian racialized women or queer/trans  women of colour, Black and Indigenous women filmmakers from decolonial, post-colonial,  queer diasporic or transnational contexts; 
  • Historiographies of film/video by racialized women filmmakers and queer & trans of colour filmmakers in Canada; 
  • Intersectional critiques of settler nationhood, settler complicities, or homonationalism through the work of racialized women / queer women of colour filmmakers;
  • Relationships and tensions between cultural identities, diasporic aesthetics, and politics;
  • Afro-Indigenous and Asian-Indigenous theories, methodologies, histories, praxis;
  • Diasporic and transnational spatialities; home and belonging, displacement, migration;
  • Thematic, textual, or aesthetic analyses of documentary, narrative, experimental, activist,  and hybrid films (all genres and platforms considered) by queer and racialized women  filmmakers; 
  • Reception/audience studies of works by women of colour in Canada; *Arts and culture policy and their impacts on queer/women of colour production in Canada; *Festivals, distributors and other media organisations that support works by Indigenous  women & women of colour filmmakers in Canada; 
  • Critical and decolonial uses of technologies; 
  • Archival reanimations by queer/women of colour filmmakers and moving image artists;
  • Comparative analyses of Canadian productions and international or transnational productions. 

*We are especially seeking proposals on Black, Caribbean, South Asian and Arab  women filmmakers in Canada. 

Submissions from anyone working in these research  areas will be considered. Please submit an abstract (300 words) & short bio (125 words) by January 15, 2022 to  panel chairs: Dr. Michelle Mohabeer mmohabee@yorku.ca & Dr. May Chew may.chew@concordia.ca.  

**Submissions will also be considered for an upcoming edited anthology on the same theme.  

Back to top

 


 

2. Making Spaces for Repair, Making Room for Other Virtual Reality Futurities 

Starting from the premise that “empathy” has overdetermined and underserved scholarly and popular discourse about virtual reality (VR), this panel seeks  papers that expand our understanding of what  VR may actually be capable of: as an immersive audiovisual technology, as an artform, and as an aesthetic. To do so, we take as a point of departure the notion that VR, like all media, only works  as an “empathy machine” in limited and highly subjective ways. What other feelings, bodies, and futures might VR and media scholars make room for if we hold other doors open? 

 

Without turning a blind eye to the racist (Nakamura 2020), ableist (Redden 2018), and appropriative (Yang 2017) foundations of contemporary VR, this panel seeks contributions that will hold these conditions up to new scrutiny and with an eye towards repair. In an effort to rethink some of the central concepts of virtual reality (immersion, presence, interactivity, etc.), we propose to take space, the body, and their interminglings as central objects of study. How can we build spaces within VR that do not reproduce the colonial, racist, or otherwise toxic tendencies of our current world? What kinds of bodies can we make room for in the spaces VR has to offer? Ultimately, what gets made in the imbrication of body, space, and screen in VR experiences?

 

We encourage submissions that might address topics including, but not limited, to: 

  • Repairing VR’s affective address
  • Rethinking central concepts (immersion, presence, interactivity, etc.)
  • Decolonizing VR spaces 
  • New temporalities in VR/AR
  • Reparative approaches to VR theory
  • Indigenous futurities in VR
  • Afrofuturism and VR
  • VR and emerging affects, structures of feeling, or other sensorial capacities
  • VR and ecocriticism
  • Analyses of VR spaces of maintenance and repair
  • Spaces of/for immersive experience exhibition
  • Public/domestic contexts for experiencing VR
  • Metaverse as space for leisure (and labour)

 

Proposals should include your name, affiliation, and a short bio (50 words), along with a document listing a title, short abstract (250-350 words), keywords (3-5) and bibliographic references (2-5). 

 

*Veuillez noter que nous acceptons aussi des propositions en français.


Please send your proposals to Aubrey Anable (AubreyAnable@cunet.carleton.ca) or Philippe Bédard (philippebedard@cunet.carleton.ca) by January 15th, 2022.

Back to top


 

3. “Antenational Cinemas: Rethinking Indigenous and Canadian Images” 

How do First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Canadian cinemas represent, construct, maintain, and challenge  visions of national identity? While this question has been approached through a wide range of  methodologies, a definitive view of what constitutes a Canadian national cinema remains elusive. The  field continues to explore positions that stress fragments, differences, incongruities, and complexities  rather than a coherent historical lineage or homogenous perspective on identity. For Marchessault and  Straw (2019), “the idea that Canadian cinema might reveal or express an essential national identity has  receded from scholarly and critical writing, but the question of what ideas might occupy its place is far  from being resolved” (xxi). This panel seeks to address this opening in field by mapping some of the  critical and practical tendencies of Canadian cinemas in relation to the “antenational” – with “ante-”  stressing before the nation. While this concept may, for some, connote the idea of an anti-national  cinema, my conceptualization of “antenational” does not necessarily foreground as oppositional politics  to national identity, even if some Indigenous or Québec films explicitly embrace such a position in  relation to Canada’s colonial and political history. Instead, antenational cinemas accounts for a  continuum of cinematic pathways that may resist identifying as Canadian, may interrogate the tensions  between feminist and nationalist discourses, may advocate for a distinct nation within a nation, or may  seek acceptance within national discourses and communities. Furthermore, antenational cinema accounts  for BIPOC, Queer, transnational, and diasporic cinemas at a multiplicity of intersections between  Canada, outside, and elsewhere (to mobilize Galt and Schoonover’s framing of Queer Cinemas in the  World). Therefore, papers within this panel should approach and interrogate definitions of national  cinema and Canadian identity. 

Key words: Indigenous cinemas, Canadian cinemas, minoritarian, national cinema, antenational 

Possible topics include: 

  • Indigenous cinemas that mobilize pre-contact and other films as “before” the nation 
  • Women filmmakers who address the spaces between nationalism and feminism 
  • Diasporic and transnational cinemas that map histories “before” the nation 
  • Indigenous cinemas that challenge and interrogate discourses of the Canadian nation state 
  •  Québec cinemas that explore the idea of a nation within a nation 
  • Films from the Prairies or Atlantic that stress differences or similarities (national identity) 
  • Queer cinemas that foreground a “before” the nation that is political or fantastic 
  •  Black Canadian filmmakers who increase representation or confront racism in Canada 
  • BIPOC directors who expose the fallacies of multiculturalism 
  • Early feature films that map alternative potentialities within the history of Canadian cinemas 

 

Please send proposals to Terrance McDonald (terrance.mcdonald@utoronto.ca) by 15 January 2022. The proposals should contain: name, affiliation, a short bio (50 words), paper title, and a 250-350-word  abstract, keywords (3-5), and bibliographic references (3-5).

Back to top


 


4. Social Media as Cinemas of Attraction

We are living in a screen saturated culture which, within the demands of the ‘attention economy’ (Goldhaber 1997), continues to turn increasingly to the moving image to hold our gaze. It is hard in these times as film and media scholars not to think of the multiplicitous histories of cinema aesthetics that inform, knowingly or not, thevisual cultures that circulate and go viral across social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. The integration into Instagram’s design over the last two years of ‘Stories’ and ‘Reels’ as a means of competing with TikTok’s default format of short video vignettes (which is itself a remake of Vine) has led to a developing interest among film and media scholars on how to account for the echoes, appropriations, and remixes of earlier visual histories (Avdeef 2021, Lever, Highfield, Abadin 2020). This panel invites papers that consider the cinematic elements of social media content. This could include anything from the narrative logic of memes to viral videos and trending dance challenges. What about the formation and circulation of these newer moving image practices index prior histories of film and media production? And perhaps most importantly, to what social, cultural, and political effect?

 

Keywords: social media, cinema, moving image, screen cultures, media histories, aesthetics

 

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Social media as a 21st century cinema of attractions
  • The avant-garde, experimental, amateur aesthetics of videos online
  • The intersection of fine art and popular culture on social media platforms
  • The use of cinema vocabularies and histories in social media practices
  • Memes as cinematic narrative vignettes
  • The reliance on films, characters, figures in pop culture remixing of digital culture
  • Activist uses of film and media historical practices now
  • The promise and limitations of visual representation in digital cultural spaces
  • The violence of using Black, Indigneous, racialized, and queer bodies as excess in meme and gif cultures
  • The racism, ableism, trans and homophobia of social media algorithms and their impact on digital visual cultural production.

 

Please send proposals to Shana MacDonald (shana.macdonald@uwaterloo.ca) by January 15th. Please include in your proposal your name, affiliation, and a short bio (50 words), along with a document listing a title, short abstract (250-350 words), keywords (3-5) and bibliographic references (2-5).

 

Back to top

 


 

5. Utopies adolescentes à la télévision

L’adolescence est l’époque du « pas encore », typique des utopies et, en même temps, un moment ayant ses caractéristiques propres, très puissantes. Est-elle l’espace (télévisuel) pour repenser notre futur? Elle est un sujet de plus en plus présent dans les séries télé récentes : pensons à Euphoria, Genera+ion, Sex Education, Dear White People, We Are Who We Are, Never Have I Ever, SKAM, la permanence de la franchise Degrassi au Canada et, au Québec, Le Chalet, La vie compliquée de Léa Olivier, L’Académie... Le territoire est en pleine expansion, remodelant un genre bien connu au cinéma et à la télévision, entre nostalgie et utopie. Les séries arrivent à raconter la dimension microscopique du quotidien des ados tout en construisant une tension vers l’avenir — à la fois une manière de repousser la fin et d’y tendre — que la narration en épisodes réalise bien. De plus, l’expérience d’une série est parcourue par une puissante incertitude qui s’allie bien à l’état d’hésitation, désorientation et maladresse de l’adolescence. Pour ce qui concerne les questions représentées, la Génération Z est le lieu d’une attention plus forte envers la diversité, le féminisme, le changement climatique et devient un nouveau terrain pour un renouvellement des thématiques. S’agit-il simplement de stratégies de marché, ou d’un espace politique pour une façon de faire les choses différemment ? Qu’est-ce que le concept d’utopie queer peut mettre à jour dans le panorama contemporain des études télévisuelles et médiatiques ? 

Mots-clés : télévision, séries, adolescence, queer, utopie, publics, futur

Thèmes possibles: 

  • L’adolescence et le futur de la télévision; 
  • L’adolescent.e des séries comme sujet politique;
  • Les caractéristiques formelles des séries portant sur l’adolescence;
  • Les séries adolescentes comme exemple de « télévision queer »;
  • Les publics des séries qui représentent des ados;
  • Le lien avec les réseaux sociaux, dans la série et dans son dispositif transmédiatique;

 

Des contributions portant sur ces questions (ou d’autres!) à partir de la perspective de l’esthétique télévisuelle, des études culturelles, queer, ou de production, y compris avec une approche transnationale, sont les bienvenues. 

Contact: marta.boni@umontreal.ca 

 

TV Teen Utopias

Adolescence is the age of the “not there yet”, typical of utopias, and, at the same time, it is a time with its specificities. Is it the (televisual) space for rethinking our future? Teenagers are more and more present in recent TV series: think of Euphoria, Genera + ion, Sex Education, Dear White People, We Are Who We Are, Never Have I Ever, SKAM, the permanence of the Degrassi franchise in Canada and, in Quebec, Le Chalet, La vie compliquée de Léa Olivier, The Academy … The territory is in full expansion, reshaping a genre well known in cinema and television, between nostalgia and utopia. TV series manage to display the microscopic dimension of the daily life of teenagers while building a tension towards the future – both a way of postponing the end and reaching for it – that serial storytelling achieves well. In addition, the experience of a series is riddled with a powerful uncertainty that combines well with the hesitation, disorientation and awkwardness, also typical of adolescence. Regarding the issues represented, Generation Z is the place of greater attention to diversity, feminism, climate change and becomes a new ground for a renewal of themes. Are these just market strategies, or is it the political space for a way to do things differently? What can the concept of queer utopia bring to light in the contemporary television and media studies panorama?

 

Keywords: television, series, adolescence, queer, utopia, audiences, future

Possible themes:

  • Adolescence and the future of television;
  • The adolescent series as a political subject;
  • The formal characteristics of the series dealing with adolescence;
  • Teenage series as an example of “queer television”;
  • Audiences of series that represent teenagers;
  • The link with social networks, in the series and in its transmedia system;

 

Contributions addressing these issues (or others!) From the perspective of television aesthetics, cultural, queer, or production studies, including a transnational approach, are welcome.

Please send proposals to Marta Boni (marta.boni@umontreal.ca) by January 15th. Please include in your proposal your name, affiliation, and a short bio (50 words), along with a document listing a title, short abstract (250-350 words), keywords (3-5) and bibliographic references (2-5).

Back to top


 


 

6. Passages, Transitions, and Transformations: Imagining Intersectional Feminist Media and Film Futures 

Feminist film and media studies have made important interventions into heteronormative histories by indexing the space(s), place(s), and labour of women and nonbinary people within film and media in ways that interrogate the seemingly objective neutrality of their canons. At the same time, some of the most popular forms of feminism, in both the past and present, have focused on a white feminine figure that obscures other social inequities (Banet Weiser 2018; Daniels 2016) and does not challenge existing social relations (Gill 2017). Popular signifers of white feminism overlook the significant and long-standing contributions of Black, Indigenous, and racialized feminist and queer activists that have radically disrupted dominant forms of representation and cultural work. Notably, these kinds of (in)visibility within and across  the screens of social media platforms, media, and films are at the fore of contemporary feminsit media scholarship. Reflecting on these histories and on-going tensions, this panel invites submissions that broadly seek to identify, explore, interrogate, and/or imagine intersectional feminist (Collins 1990, 2017,  2019; Crenshaw 1989, 1991) film and media scholarship, methods, practices, and tools from both the past and present that may be adapted and extended upon as we look to develop more equitable and sustainable futures in our scholarly, activist, and creative practices.  

Keywords: Intersectional feminism; feminist media studies; feminist film studies; digital  activism; methodology; practice  

Possible topics include but are not limited to:  

  • Creative explorations and analyses on the continuities, contradictions, and comparisons  between (the passing of) time, space, and place and their impacts on feminist activist media and film;  
  • Queer and feminist media and film and postcolonial, Indigenous, and Afrofuturist theories, methodologies, case studies, praxes, and applications;  
  • Critical analyses of the feminist, queer, racialized, and decolonial politics and uses of  technologies;  
  • Archival, aesthetic, thematic, creative, and critical analyses of feminist, queer,  postcolonial, and anti-racist film and media;  
  • Analyses, case studies, and theorizations of how feminists create, use, and circulate digital artifacts that contribute to the formation of their own communities and digital assemblies; 
  • Articulations and analyses of feminist, queer, decolonial, postcolonial, and anti-racist digital stories and artifacts and the circulation of these stories and artifacts among a  variety of digital platforms, media, and spheres of power;  
  • Explorations of feminist, queer, postcolonial, decolonial, and anti-racist media protest  and resistance and the ways that they foster collective action and coalitional affinities.  

Please send proposals to Brianna Wiens (biwiens@uwaterloo.ca) by January 15th. In your  proposal, please include your name, a short bio (50 words), submission title, a short abstract  (250-350 words), keywords (3-5) and bibliographic references (2-5).

 

Back to top

 


 

7. Living Archives and Counter-Archives in Film, Video, and Media Arts in Canada 

Archives are generally associated with things that are dead and static but digital media are impacting the very meaning and location of archives along with the production of more dynamic and diverse histories. Since the archival turn in the early 1990s (generally attributed to the rise of the internet and the expansion of local area networks globally), artists and digital humanists, often working in collaboration with archivists, have been at the forefront of developing new ways to animate and create archives both public and private. Artists are using film and media archives to disrupt traditional forms of history, collection, and national narrative. New approaches to celluloid, video, and digital media are process oriented, participatory, and performative. Archives used in this way foster new living ecologies of entanglement that are generating more complex epistemological models of memory and place.

Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Canada’s Audiovisual Heritage is a SSHRC Partnership Grant research-creation project dedicated to activating and remediating audiovisual archives created by Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), the Black community and People of Colour, women, LGBT2Q+ and immigrant communities. Political, resistant, and community-based, counter-archives disrupt conventional narratives and enrich our histories. For the purposes of this project, we have defined counter-archives as political, ingenious, resistant, and community-based. They are embodied differently and have explicit intention to historicize differently, to disrupt conventional national narratives, and to write difference into public accounts. They seek to counter the hegemony of traditional archival institutions that have normally neglected or marginalized women, Indigenous, Inuit and Métis Peoples, the LGBT2Q+ community, and immigrant communities. This panel invites presentations on research and research-creation related to the themes and approaches of Archive/Counter-Archive.

Keywords: archives and counter-archives; archival film, video, and media; community media; media by women, Indigenous, Inuit and Métis Peoples, the LGBT2Q+ community, and immigrant communities.

Please send proposals to Antoine Damiens (kmo@counterarchive.ca) by January 15th. In your  proposal, please include your name, a short bio (50 words), submission title, a short abstract  (250-350 words), keywords (3-5) and bibliographic references (2-5).

 

Back to top

 


 

8. Experiments in Independent Film & Media in Canada

Abstract: The current vibrancy of the independent film and media arts sector in Canada and globally is evident. This panel seeks presentations on experimental and independent film, video, and media production, distribution, and exhibition in Canada. Experimental film, video art, and digital media enjoy a rich tradition of scholarship and criticism. This panel also seeks papers on films and media at the margins of these forms: how has experimentation taken place in independent narrative, documentary, industrial, and community media? Co-ops and other artist-run centres operate at the grassroots level to provide access to film and media production, distribution, and exhibition for local communities, including minoritized groups who started separate organizations when excluded from government, industry, and existing independent film and media sectors. Less subject to commercial pressures, the independent sector facilitated a greater degree of formal and cultural innovation and experimentation, enabling new ways of working, including forms of non-hierarchal organization. The independent sector sought to leverage collective power to access resources, and also may teach us about how discourses of gender, sexuality, race, Indigeneity, and ability operate in relation to larger institutions in government (including arts councils), industry, academia, the art world, and archives. How have production histories, distribution ventures, and exhibition sites performed experimental gestures against social and aesthetic convention? The panel is also open to considerations of alternative forms of criticism, innovative archival histories, and contemporary gallery and museum installations and performance. We invite panelists to incorporate an anti-racist approach and an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens to expand Canadian film and media arts history to make it more inclusive of the diversity of – and within – the grassroots cultural communities that engaged in independent experimentation across multiple media forms.

 

Keywords: experimental film & media; independent film & media; BIPOC voices in film & media history in Canada; community media; film & media cooperatives

Please send proposals to Michael Zryd (zryd@yorku.ca) by January 15th. In your  proposal, please include your name, a short bio (50 words), submission title, a short abstract  (250-350 words), keywords (3-5) and bibliographic references (2-5).

 

Back to top

 
Call for Papers: A Teaching Companion to Silent Cinema
Edited by Liz Clarke and Martin Johnson

Due by Dec. 15, 2021

Film studies programs big and small have a common course: film history. While programs divide film history courses in different ways—some by time period, others by geography—they all address, if only for a few weeks, silent cinema. These courses are rarely taught by researchers of silent film, and a reliance on textbooks and allusions to the best known silent films mischaracterize the period. In A Teaching Companion to Silent Cinema, we hope to challenge these narratives of the first decades of cinema through rich, engaging short essays on films that expand our sense of the very possibilities of the medium. This collection will take what silent film researchers already know–that the period from film’s invention in the late 19th century to the transition to sound in the 1930s is among the diverse, dynamic, and complex–and make films that more fully represent this period accessible to teachers and students of film history.

Canonical histories of silent cinema have, with few exceptions, focused on films made by white men in the United States and Europe. Filmmakers such as D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and Sergei Eisenstein are lionized, while women, people of color, and filmmakers from small nations are ignored. Historical epics and slapstick comedies are celebrated, while a multitude of other genres and modes of filmmaking are skipped entirely. Although scholars, archivists, and critics are actively seeking to correct these oversights in their research, writing, and programming, the most widely used textbooks in the field continue to emphasize this older narrative. When students and teachers seek out diverse films, they often have trouble finding material to contextualize what they’re seeing, particularly short essays focused on individual films.

With this call, we are seeking essays (3,500 to 5,000 words) on feature films, and notes (1,000 to 1,500 words) on short films that represent the diversity of silent film cultures. These scholarly essays will provide context to the film, information about the filmmakers, background information, and a concise analysis of the film. These texts can be used to complement commonly used film history textbooks or in conjunction with theoretical essays. A few guidelines:

  • One proposal per submitter. We want this collection to reflect the diversity of scholarship in the field as well.
  • Proposed films should be readily available to instructors, through DVD, BluRay, digital repositories, or other sources.
  • Ideally, your proposal should discuss a film that you have successfully screened to undergraduates. We are seeking to introduce students to films that will excite and engage them.
  • We are seeking essays that challenge our sense of the film canon, while remaining accessible. While we welcome all proposals, here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the films we would like to include:
    • Mario Roncoroni, Filibus (1915), Italy
    • Enrique Rosas, The Grey Automobile (1919), Mexico
    • Francis Ford, The Craving (1918), USA
    • Frances Marion, The Love Light (1922), USA
    • Oscar Micheaux, The Symbol of the Unconquered (1920), USA Jean Epstein, Coueur Fidèle (1923), France
    • Robert Wiene, The Hands of Orlac (1924), Austria
    • Lotte Reiniger, The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), Germany Dorothy Davenport, Linda (1929), USA
    • Teinosuke Kinugasa, A Page of Madness (1926), Japan
    • Wu Yonggang, The Goddess (1934), China
    • Mário Peixoto, Limite (1930), Brazil
    • Norbert A. Myles, The Daughter of Dawn (1920), USA Holger-Madsen, Trip to Mars (1918), Denmark
    • Marion E. Wong’s The Curse of Quon Gwon (c. 1916-17), USA Cleo Madison, Eleanor’s Catch (1916), USA
    • Yevgeni Bauer, The Dying Swan (1917), Russia
    • E.A. Dupont, Piccadilly (1929), UK

 

Please send 300-word proposals, a 50-word bio, and access information for the feature-length or short film you would like to discuss to mlj@email.unc.edu and lclarke@brocku.ca by December 15, 2021. Acceptances will be sent by January 17, 2022, and essays will be due by May 30, 2022.

proposals, a 50-word bio, and access information for the feature-length or

page2image20278144 page2image20282368

 

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Encyclopedia of Animation Studies: 

Techniques, Processes, Environments (Bloomsbury, 2024)

We invite chapter proposals for the second of four volumes of the Encyclopedia of Animation Studies: Techniques, Processes, Environments (Bloomsbury, 2024). The expansive four-volume series will showcase established and emerging scholarship on animation, including transdisciplinary approaches that consider the proliferating forms and roles of animation today. This second volume, edited by Dr. Franziska Bruckner and Dr. Alla Gadassik, focuses specifically on animation techniques, processes, and environments – howwhere, and why animation is made and exhibited. 

This volume is committed to connecting insights of scholars and creative practitioners, including those working at intersections of theory and praxis, as well intersections of animation and other disciplines. The first quarter of the volume is dedicated to shorter essays (2,000 words) by animation practitioners, while the remaining sections, which are open to all contributors, will follow more conventional academic chapter lengths (7,000 words). The editors look forward to supporting authors with a range of experience and comfort level with academic publication. Contributing artists and scholars without full-time institutional affiliation will be offered a modest honorarium by the volume editors.

Chapter proposals should clearly align with one of the following four areas:

Techniques (shorter essays): reflections on specific animation techniques by creative practitioners who can contextualize those techniques in relationship to their own and other artists’ practices. Chapters that closely attend to more specific approaches than broad categories like ‘analog’ or ‘digital’ (for example, vector-based animation; pixel-based animation; procedural animation, etc.) are especially welcome.

Processes: essays that explore the nuances of animation production in particular contexts, which might include attention to animation labour; specific roles and stages of development in industrial and commercial animation; and/or considerations in different experimental processes.

Environments: essays that explore animation’s relationship to particular sites of exhibition and display; locate animation in specific intermedia environments; and/or consider the distinct forms animation can take depending on its site.

Forms: essays that provide deeper insight into the relationship between animation and its allied forms (for example, comics or kinetic sculptures), and/or explore a particular form of animation (for example, advertising or pornography) by attending to common themes, temporal structures, or modes of address.

Proposals should include a chapter title, an abstract (300 words), and a short author bio (50 words). Inquiries and questions in advance of proposal submission are welcome. Proposals should be submitted to one of the editors, Dr. Alla Gadassik (gadassik@ecuad.ca) or Dr. Franziska Bruckner (franziska.bruckner@fhstp.ac.at) by Friday, January 28, 2022. All received proposals will receive responses by March 1, 2022. First drafts of chapters will be due by August 2023 for scheduled publication in 2024.

 

English version below

Héros et Héroïnes ordinaires: micro et macro-résistances dans les films de fiction après 2001

(Conférence, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, 22 et 23 octobre 2022)

 

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

CHRISTOPHER REEVE

 

 

Cette conférence internationale bilingue (français-anglais) a pour objectif d’examiner de façon critique les micro/macro-résistances des héros et héroïnes ordinaires sur grand écran quand ceux-ci font face à des évènements (fictionnels ou non) remettant en question leur relation à leur quotidien et leur environnement.

Le terme « héro » dérive du grec ancien hếrôs (« chef de guerre ») et du latin classique heros (« demi-dieu »). Comme l’indiquent les textes fondateurs d’Homère (L’Iliade) et de Virgile (L’Énéide), les individus héroïques se distinguent de leurs pairs soit par leurs qualités exceptionnelles, tels un mérite et un courage supérieurs, soit par leur nature quasi divine, fruit des amours entre un dieu/une déesse et un.e mortel.le. Comme le montrent Franco et al. (2016), la figure du héros, mais aussi les études portant sur ce dernier, ont beaucoup évolué ces dernières années. Par exemple, Becker et Eagly (2004) décrivent le héros ou l’héroïne comme un individu prenant des risques physiques dans le but de protéger une ou plusieurs personnes. Pour Koben (2013), le héros et l’héroïne sont à comprendre comme des personnes à la croisée de « l’héroïsme physique » et de l’héroïsme social : il s’agit d’individus qui prennent conscience de leur mortalité et qui, au service d’un principe, prennent des risques sérieux et/ou parviennent à surmonter des épreuves importantes. Franco et Zimbardo (2006), quant à eux, soulignent que le héros n’est plus nécessairement originaire d’une élite, mais que, au contraire, ses actes sont devenus banals (« the banality of heroism »).

Il semblerait alors que le concept d’héroïsme ordinaire repose sur une tension fondamentale : les héros et héroïnes sont devenus banals et exceptionnels à la fois, ancrés dans une réalité sociale qu’ils incarnent et dépassent. Par exemple, les membres du corps médical qui, durant les premières vagues de la COVID-19, s’acquittent de leurs tâches dans un contexte inédit et dangereux, sont des héros tandis qu’à son décès, Jean-Paul Belmondo, l’une des stars du cinéma français, est décrit comme « un héros à l’apparence de M. Tout-le-monde » (Frodon 2021). Le superhéros qu’a contribué à populariser le cinéma hollywoodien n’a certainement pas perdu de son importance et de son attrait (pour preuve, le succès de la franchise Marvel Cinematic Universe) mais celui-ci coexiste désormais avec des confrères et des consœurs nettement plus discrets, mais tout aussi porteurs de sens (personnel, philosophique, politique, idéologique). 

Dans quels univers cinématographiques les héros et les héroïnes ordinaires évoluent-ils ? Y a-t-il des liens entre les héros ordinaires et les genres cinématographiques ? Quels sont les obstacles qu’ils doivent surmonter au sein de diégèses plus réalistes que celles des films de super-héros ? Comment ces individus héroïques se situent-ils vis-à-vis du collectif et du systémique ? Comment les héros ordinaires tentent-ils de dépasser leur condition et de surmonter des obstacles de nature personnelle (maladie etc.), systémique (précarité économique, discriminations etc.), historique (guerres, conflits etc.) ? Quelles sont les résistances (micro et macro) que ces personnages ont à leur disposition ? 

Faisant face à des situations personnelles ou collectives exceptionnelles, poussant les protagonistes à transgresser et sortir de leur condition de détresse, d’oppression et d’aliénation parfois extrême, les protagonistes cherchent à déployer les moyens adéquats afin de surpasser les obstacles que le récit leur présente : dans le contexte de films réalistes, quelles sont les résistances possibles face à l’adversité, cette dernière pouvant être incarnée par 1) une idéologie (le racisme, l’homophobie, le sexisme, le capacitisme, l’âgisme, etc.), 2) un système économique (le néolibéralisme, le communisme ou autres), 3) une crise politique majeure (un conflit, une guerre, une élection dystopique), ou 4) un cataclysme naturel (un tremblement de terre) ? Comment un personnage peut-il survivre, résister et se rebeller contre ce qui lui est présenté sans valider, par sa bravoure et sa détermination, ce qui l’opprime : par exemple, comment la protagoniste de Louise Wimmer (Mennegun, 2011) vivant dans sa voiture et cherchant désespérément un logement, peut-elle arriver à ses fins grâce à sa force morale et sa résilience sans justifier le système économique l’ayant transformée par la force des choses en héroïne ordinaire ? Comment les individus subissant le colonialisme et ses multiples effets délétères parviennent-il à résister par de grandes et petites actions sans être réduits au silence et sans se contenter de rôles de figurants comme dans The Mission (R. Joffé, 1986) ? Mais aussi comment le cinéma lui-même (de par son esthétique, ses moyens de production accessibles, l’éthique des cinéastes) peut-il constituer un outil de résistance pour des cultures minoritaires (telles la culture latinx, québécoise ou et autochtone) ?

Nous ne cherchons pas ici à glorifier davantage la bravoure et l’individualisme, important aussi bien dans la psychologie et les actions du héros traditionnel que dans les sociétés néolibérales, mais au contraire à souligner certains paradoxes, tensions et contradictions inhérents à l’héroïsme ordinaire au sein de fictions cinématographiques contemporaines après 2001. Si nous nous intéressons particulièrement ici au contexte francophone, nous acceptons des propositions touchant à d’autres cinématographies et à des contextes nationaux divers sans oublier tous types de diversité.     

Certains des thèmes et des films pouvant faire l’objet d’une présentation sont les suivants:

  • Précarité économique (Louise Wimmer, C. Mennegun, 2012; Deux jours, une nuit, (J-P et L. Dardenne, 2014);
  • Maladies (120 battements par minute, R. Campillo, 2017; Amour, M. Haneke, 2012).  
  • Cataclysmes et apocalypse (Les Fils de l’homme/Children of Men, A. Cuaron, 2006 The Road / La Route, J. Hillcoat, 2009). 
  • Catastrophes naturelles (The Impossible, J. Bayona, 2012; Snow Therapy / Force Majeure, R. Östlund 2015). 
  • Attentats (L’Attentat, Z. Doueiri, 2012; 11 septembre, 9/11, M. Guigui, 2017). 
  • Épidémies (Blindness, F. Meirelles, 2008; Contagion, S. Soderberg, 2011; Dernier Train pour Busan/Train to Busan, Sang-Ho Yeon, 2016; Blood Quantum, J. Barnaby, 2020).
  • Invasions (A Quiet Place/Sans un bruit, J. Krasinski, 2018; District 9, N. Blomkamp, 2009)
  • Deuil et trauma personnel (17 fois Cécile Cassart, C. Honoré, 2002; Frantz, F. Ozon, 2016; Incendies, D. Villeneuve, 2010, Wild, J-M Vallée, 2014, The Tree of Life T. Malick, 2011; Persépolis (Marjane Satrapi, 2007).   
  • Colonialisme (Rhymes for Young Ghouls, J. Barnaby, 2013; Rustic Oracle, S. Bonspille Boileau, 2019; La Rivière sans repos, M-H Cousineau et M. Ivalu, 2019; Before Tomorrow, M-H Cousineau et M. Ivalu, 2008; Moolaade, O. Sembene, 2004; Beans, T. Deer, 2020). 
  • Cultures minoritaires et intégration (L’Ange de Goudron, D. Chouinard, 2001; Monsieur Lazhar, P. Falardeau, 2011; Avant les rues, C. Leriche, 2016; Le N**, R. Morin, 2002; Le Marais, K. N’guyen, 2002). 

 

Les propositions en anglais ou français doivent inclure un titre, une brève biographie ainsi qu’un résumé d’un maximum de 500 mots. Le résumé doit identifier un corpus et se situer dans la continuité des axes ou sujets suggérés. Les propositions doivent être envoyées à Karine Bertrand (kb162@queensu.ca), Florian Grandena (florian.grandena@uottawa.ca) et Mercédès Baillargeon (baillarg@umd.edu) d’ici le 15 janvier 2022.

La conférence s’appuiera sur un modèle bimodal afin d’accommoder celles et ceux ne pouvant se rendre au campus de Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada). Les participants devront s’acquitter de frais d’inscription de 75$ (pour celles et ceux participant via Zoom) et de 150$ (pour celles et ceux intervenant en présentiel) avant le 1er juin 2022. Les frais d’inscription sont destinés au financement de la conférence, la location des locaux et du matériel technologique.

 

Comité d’organisation (groupe de recherche EPIC).

Mercédès Baillargeon, Professeur agrégée, University of Maryland (États-Unis)
Karine Bertrand, Professeur agrégée, Queen’s University (Canada).
Florian Grandena, Professeur agrégé, Université d’Ottawa (Canada).
Claire Gray, Doctorante, University of Edinburgh (Grande Bretagne).
Pierre-Luc Landry, Professeur adjoint, University of Victoria (Canada).
Dina Salha, Professeur adjoint, Université d’Ottawa (Canada).

 


 

Everyday Heroes and Heroines: Micro and Macro-Resistances in Post-2001 Feature Films

Conference to be held at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, October 22-23, 2022

 

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

CHRISTOPHER REEVE

 

This international and bilingual (in both French and English) conference aims to critically examine the micro/macro-resistance of ordinary cinematic heroes and heroines when they face events (fictional or not) that call into question their relationship to their daily lives and their environment.

The term “hero” derives from the ancient Greek hếrôs (“warlord”) and from the classical Latin heroes (“demigod”), as indicated by the foundational texts of Homer (The Iliad) and Virgil (The Aeneid). In both cases, individuals possess positive qualities that distinguish them from their peers, such as superior merit and courage, or an almost divine person, the fruit of the loves between a god/goddess and a mortal. As indicated by Franco et al. (2016), the figure of the hero has considerably evolved in recent years. For exaple, Becker and Eagly (2004) describe the hero or heroine as an individual taking physical risks in order to protect one or more people. For Koben (2013), the hero and the heroine are to be understood as people at the crossroads of “physical heroism” and social heroism: they are individuals who become aware of their mortality and who, in the service of a principle, take serious risks and/or manage to overcome important tests.Franco and Zimbardo (2006), for their part, point out that the hero is no longer necessarily from an elite. Rather, heroic acts have become banal (“the banality of heroism”).

Therefore, it seems that the concept of ordinary heroism relies on a fundamental tension: heroes have become both ordinary and exceptional yet they are anchored in a social reality that they also transcend. For example, during the first waves of COVID-19, members of the medical profession carried out their tasks in an unprecedented and dangerous context and are widely considered to be heroes. In the same way, Jean-Paul Belmondo, a well-known star of French cinema, was described right after his death as “a hero in the appearance of Mr. Everybody” (Frodo 2021). The Hollywood superhero has certainly not lost its cultural importance and its appeal (for proof, see the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise) but it coexists with protagonists which are much more discreet, but that carrier of diverse meanings (personal, philosophical, political, ideological).

It is thus the ordinary heroes and heroines that interest us – especially their various representations and expressions in contemporary post-2001 non-Hollywood cinema. In what cinematic universes do they evolve? Are there any connections between ordinary heroes and cinematic genres? What obstacles do they face on screen that are more realistic than those in superhero movies? How do these heroic individuals position themselves vis-à-vis the collective and the systemic? How do ordinary heroes try to overcome their conditions as well as obstacles of a personal (illness, etc.), systemic (economic precariousness, discrimination etc.) or historical (wars, conflicts etc.) nature?

Confronted with exceptional personal or collective situations, protagonists within these works transgress and escape their condition of distress, oppression and sometimes extreme alienation. They seek to deploy the appropriate means in order to overcome the obstacles presented to them by the story. In the context of realist films, whose heroes are not “extraordinary,” what are the possible resistances in the face of adversity? This adversity is embodied by either 1) an ideology (racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism, ageism, etc.), 2) an economic system (neoliberalism, communism or other), 3) a major political crisis (a conflict, a war, a dystopian election), or 4) a natural cataclysm (an earthquake). How can a character survive, resist and rebel against what is presented to him by force without validating (through his bravery and determination) what oppresses him? For example, how can the protagonist of Louise Wimmer (Mennegun, 2012), a woman living in her car and desperately seeking accommodation, achieve her ends thanks to her moral strength and resilience without justifying the economic system that transformed her by necessity into an ordinary heroine? How do individuals and communities facing colonialism and its multiple effects manage to resist through large and small actions without being silenced and without contenting themselves with minor roles or depictions, as it is the case in the movie The Mission (R. Joffé, 1986)? Finally, how can cinema itself (through its aesthetics, the means of production now accessible, the ethics of filmmakers) constitute a tool of resistance for minority cultures (such as Latin, Quebec and Indigenous cultures, disabled and queer, to name but a few)?

We do not seek here to further glorify bravery and individualism, important in the psychology and the actions of the traditional hero and the neoliberal societies. On the contrary, we mean to underline the paradoxes, the tensions, and the contradictions inherent to “ordinary” heroism within post-2001 contemporary fictional cinema. This conference is particularly interested in the French-speaking context, but we accept proposals concerning other film landscapes and various national contexts, including all types of diversity without any exception.

Some of the themes and films that can be presented are:

  • Economic insecurity: Louise Wimmer (dir. Cyril Mennegun, 2012); Deux jours, une nuit (dir. J-P and L. Dardenne, 2014).
  • Diseases: 120 Beats Per Minute (dir. Robin Campillo, 2017); Amour (dir. Michael Haneke, 2012).
  • Cataclysms and the Apocalypse: Children of Men (dir. Alfonso Cuaron, 2006), The Road (dir. John Hillcoat, 2009).
  • Natural disasters: The Impossible (dir. J. A. Bayona, 2012); Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Östlund 2015).
  • Attacks: The Attack (dir. Ziad Doueiri, 2012); 9/11 (dir. Martin Guigui, 2017).
  • Epidemics: Blindness (dir. Fernando Meirelles, 2008); Contagion (dir. Stephen Soderberg, 2011); Last Train for Busan (dir. Sang-Ho Yeon, 2016); Blood Quantum (dir. Jeff Barnaby, 2020).
  • Invasions: A Quiet Place (dir. John Krasinski, 2018); District 9 (dir. Neill Blomkamp, ​​2009).
  • Mourning and personal trauma: Seventeen Times Cécile Cassart (dir. Christophe Honoré, 2002); Frantz (dir. François Ozon, 2016); Incendies (dir. Denis Villeneuve, 2010); Wild (dir. Jean-Marc Vallée, 2014); The Tree of Life (dir. Terrance Malick, 2011); Persepolis (dir. Marjane Satrapi, 2007).
  • Colonialism: Rhymes for Young Ghouls (dir. Jeff Barnaby, 2013); Rustic Oracle (dir. Sonia Bonspille Boileau, 2019); La Rivière sans repos (dir. Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeleine Ivalu, 2019); Before Tomorrow (dir. Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeleine Ivalu, 2008); Moolaade (dir. Ousmane Sembene, 2004); Beans (dir. Tracey Deer, 2020).
  • Minority cultures and integration: L’Ange de Goudron (dir. Denis Chouinard, 2001); Monsieur Lazhar (dir. Philippe Falardeau., 2011); Before The Streets, (dir. Chloé Leriche, 2016); Le N ** (dir. Robert Morin, 2002); Le Marais (dir. Kim N’guyen, 2002).

 

The submissions in English or in French must include a title, a brief biography as well as an abstract of a maximum of 500 words. The abstract must delineate a corpus and put forward a thesis following one the angles or subjects suggested. The submissions can be sent to Prof. Karine Bertrand (kb162@queensu.ca), Prof. Florian Grandena (florian.grandena@uottawa.ca) and Prof. Mercédès Baillargeon (baillarg@umd.edu) by January 15, 2022.

The conference will likely be held following a bimodal mode, to accommodate participants who cannot join us. Fees of $75.00 (for those joining us via zoom) and of $150.00 (for participants present in Kingston) will be asked, to be paid before June 1, 2022. These fees will help us pay for conference organization, space and technology.

 

Bibliography

Franco, S. Allison, E. Kinsella, A. Kohen and M. Langdon (2016), “Heroism Research: A Review of Theories, Methods, Challenges, and Trends”.

Becker, S. W., & Eagly, A. H. (2004). The heroism of women and men. American Psychologist, 59 (3), 163-178.

Franco, Z., & Zimbardo, P. (2006). The Banality of Heroism. Greater Good, Fall / Winter, 30-35.

 

Organising committee (EPIC research group) 

Mercédès Baillargeon, Associate Professor, University of Maryland (United States).
Karine Bertrand, Associate Professor, Queen’s University (Canada).
Florian Grandena, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa Canada).
Claire Gray, PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom).
Pierre-Luc Landry, Assistant Professor, University of Victoria (Canada).
Dina Salha, Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa, (Canada).

 

First Annual Black Feminist Theory Summer Institute

August 1-5, 2022

Life. Living. Alive.

Duke University
Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Convener: Jennifer C. Nash

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University invites applications from graduate students (MA, MFA, and/or PhD-track) for a five-day Black Feminist Theory Summer Institute. The institute will focus on interdisciplinary Black feminist scholarship that attends to Black life and living. Graduate students will have the opportunity to engage closely with prominent scholars. Students will also be invited to share their scholarly work in fifteen-minute presentations. Keeping with the theme of sustaining life, we will work to produce a cross-institution community of scholars working in the field of Black feminist theory.

Institute Faculty:

La Marr Jurelle Bruce (University of Maryland)
Sarah Jane Cervenak (University of North Carolina, Greensboro) Sharon Holland (University of North Carolina)
LaMonda Horton-Stallings (Georgetown University)
Justin Mann (Northwestern University)
Emily Owens (Brown University)
Kevin Quashie (Brown University)
Samantha Pinto (University of Texas, Austin)

Application Process:

Twenty participants will be accepted into the Black Feminist Theory Summer Institute, ten
from Duke University and ten from other colleges and universities. We welcome applications from all graduate students with an interest in Black feminist theory, broadly defined. To apply, submit your CV, a 1,000-word description of your research interests, and a brief statement of how the Summer Institute will benefit your work. Please list one reference and their contact information (reference letters are not required). Assemble this into one PDF document and send it to: jennifer.nash@duke.edu. The due date for applications is December 30, 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by January 21, 2022.

Details of Participation:

Participants from institutions outside the Durham area will arrive on July 31, 2022 and depart on August 6, 2022. Lodging is provided free of charge for out-of-town students from Sunday to Saturday. Each out-of-town participant will receive $350 toward travel expenses, and ground transportation from airport to lodging is provided. All participants will be provided with breakfast and lunch from Monday to Friday, and we will have a collective dinner on Thursday evening.

The academic sessions begin on the morning of Monday, August 1st and end in the afternoon on Friday, August 5th. Sessions run from approximately 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. All participants are expected to be on time, to attend all sessions, and to complete assigned readings.

 

Version française ci-bas
 

 

CALL FOR PAPER PROPOSALS FOR FSAC 2022

May 12-15

 

The Annual Conference of the Film Studies Association of Canada

Held in conjunction  with the Congress of the Humanities and Social 2022

 

Congress Theme: Transitions

Association Theme: Screen Futurities

 

Martin Walsh Memorial Lecture: TBA

Sylvia D. Hamilton Dialogues: TBA

 

2022 Gerald Pratley Award: Ylenia Olibet, Concordia University

“Minor Transnationalism in Quebec’s Women Cinema: Diasporic Filmmaking Practices.”

 

Proposal Submission Deadline: January 31, 2022

Submit proposals by email to: conference2022@filmstudies.ca

 

The Film Studies Association of Canada acknowledges that members of the association predominantly live and work in locations across Turtle Island. The association recognizes and respects the histories, languages, and cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit across Turtle Island. This acknowledgment is part of the association’s desire to centre shared conversations around how scholarly practices can act as a part of reconciliation and use these conversations as a guiding principle of our association’s work.

FSAC wishes to explicitly encourage participation in the association of scholars and makers most impacted by structural racism, colonialism, misogyny, ableism, trans- and homophobia, including those considering joining for the first time or those who are returning and are looking for a supportive intellectual and creative community base. As FSAC continues to try and make meaningful structural change, it welcomes input and participation at every level of the association from being a member, conference presenter or panel chair, to taking on leadership roles within the executive and in working groups.

FSAC is now seeking proposals for the 2022 virtual conference hosted in conjunction with Congress. The Conference Committee is committed to ensuring the programming of anti-racist and anti-colonial approaches to research, scholarship, pedagogy, archiving, and other institutional practices related to the study of film and media. Proposals on these topics are especially welcome.

In an elaboration of the Congress theme ‘Transitions,’ the FSAC 2022 theme Screen Futurities welcomes scholarly presentations that consider the possible and preferred futures we hold for our film and media landscapes. The conference seeks papers that take up the concept of futurities broadly as it applies to any screen media. The concept of futurity invites reflections on temporality and a recognition of many key sites of struggle or indeterminacy in the present. We invite projects on film, media, and social and visual movements that centre futurity in theory and practice as a way to engage our media of study as they transform and shift within the digital era.

Temporalities including futurity are crucial to our collective witnessing of necessary shifts and reckonings within our political and institutional spheres. They help orient our scholarship towards acknowledging and actively undoing the ongoing violence and harms perpetrated against racialized, gendered, and other marginalized communities. To this end, the theme encourages scholarly work on the overlaps between film, media, and social and visual movements that centre futurity in both theory and practice including Afrofuturism, Indigenous futurism, queer, trans, and feminist futurisms, and eco-futurisms.

 

Proposals submitted to the conference committee may take up topics related to the conference theme or on any other film or media studies topic.

The FSAC 2022 conference will occur in a virtual format as a synchronous online gathering of paper presentations, panels, workshops, roundtables, and screenings through the Congress video conferencing platform.

 

Please note that proposals will only be considered from applications who are paid-up members of the association.  Black, Indigenous, and racialized members of the association can renew their membership at no cost. 

Memberships may be obtained/renewed here: https://www.filmstudies.ca/membership

 

The conference committee welcomes proposals for:

  • Individual presentations
  • Pre-Constituted panels
  • Workshops or roundtables
  • Screenings, exhibitions or other virtual events

 

Options for participation and submission instructions:

  1. Pre-Constituted Panels: For the 2022 Conference, we strongly encourage the construction of pre-constituted panels to ensure a greater coherence and dialogue across those with aligned scholarly interests. Please submit a call for your pre-constituted panel to the Conference email by December 15 for the Conference Committee to circulate to the larger membership on your behalf. This call should include a working title, 250-350-word outline of the thematic focus, list of keywords, bullet-point list of possible topics included under the panel theme, and contact information for panel chair.We will circulate the cluster of panel calls for participation to the membership on your behalf by December 17, 2021 and will set a deadline for submission to panel chairs by January 15, 2022 in order to ensure that anyone not accepted at the time can revise their submission for the individual paper deadline of January 31, 2022. Please submit your final curated pre-constituted panel to the Conference Committee by January 31, 2022.

Pre-constituted panels should be submitted by the proposed panel chair and include:

    • A Cover email including panel chair’s name, position, institutional affiliation, and email address
    • Title of the proposed panel
    • 250-350-word abstract outlining the panel focus
    • Keywords (3-5)
    • Title of papers and brief abstracts (150 words) included
  1. Individual Paper Proposal format: 
    • In an email include applicant name, affiliations, short bio (50 words), and paper title
    • Attach a 250–350-word abstract (with title)
    • Keywords (3-5) and bibliographic references (2-5)
    • **Individual paper abstracts will be blind-reviewed; please do not include name or affiliation in the attachment 
  1. Workshop and Roundtable proposals should include the following information:
    • Chair’s name, position, institutional affiliation, and email address
    • Title of workshop or roundtable 
    • 250–350-word abstract describing theme/focus being considered and format it will take
    • Keywords (3-5)
    • List of participants including name, position, institutional affiliation, and email
  1. Screen-based events:
    • Artist(s)’ name(s), position, institutional affiliation and email address
    • Title of film, media, event as appropriate
    • 250-350-word abstract describing theme/focus of event and/or synopsis of film or media to be presented and the medium and presentation format it will take.
    • Keywords (3-5)
    • Any special technology requests or requirements

 

Please submit paper, workshop, roundtable, and screen-based event proposals to the Conference Committee by January 31, 2022

 

Additional information

  • Presentations may be either in English or French.
  • Organizers and convenors of workshops and roundtables seeking broad inclusion from FSAC members and should feel free to use the FSAC listserv to solicit interest.
  • You can participate in a maximum of two presentations, neither of which can be the same kind (i.e., you may propose a paper and a workshop proposal but not two of either kind regardless of whether they are single or co-authored).
  • Individual presentations are no longer than 15 minutes (clips included). Length of workshops, roundtable presentations, and screen-based events may vary depending on the session for a preferred maximum of 2-2.5 hrs.
  • All proposals will be adjudicated by the Conference Committee.
  • All papers presented at the FSAC conference must be original works. Proposals for previously presented papers will not be accepted.
  • Following last year’s conference’s successful Book Launch and closing party, we will make more casual breakout rooms available throughout the conference for increased social engagements.

 

Graduate Student Funding

  • Partial financial compensation for student members is normally dedicated to travel expenses. Given that this conference is virtual, you may apply for this year only to reduce your conference fees instead. More details and the application form will be posted in January at https://www.filmstudies.ca/category/grad-students

Audio-Visual Needs

  • The FSAC Conference Committee will work closely with the membership to ensure we support your needs running presentations and will provide a ‘how-to’ FAQ sheet in the spring in anticipation of the conference.

 

Conference Program Chair: Shana MacDonald (President, FSAC)

Department of Communication Arts, University of Waterloo

president@filmstudies.ca or shana.macdonald@uwaterloo.ca

 

 

 


 

 

 

APPEL À COMMUNICATIONS POUR LE CONGRÈS DE L’ACÉC 2022

12-15 mai

 

Colloque annuel de l’Association Canadienne d’Études Cinématographiques

Tenu dans le cadre du Congrès des sciences humaines

Thème du congrès : Transitions

Thème de l’association : Futurités écraniques

Conférence commémorative Martin Walsh : (annonce à venir)
Dialogues Sylvia D. Hamilton Dialogues : (annonce à venir)

 

Conférence liée au prix Gerald Pratley 2021 : Ylenia Olibet, Concordia University

“Minor Transnationalism in Quebec’s Women Cinema: Diasporic Filmmaking Practices.”

 

Date de tombée pour les propositions : 31 janvier 2022

Envoyez vos propositions à : conference2022@filmstudies.ca

 

L’Association Canadienne d’Études Cinématographiques reconnaît que les membres de l’association vivent et travaillent principalement dans des endroits situés à travers l’Île de la Tortue. L’association reconnaît et respecte l’histoire, les langues et les cultures des Premières Nations, des Métis et des Inuits de l’Île de la Tortue. Cette reconnaissance s’inscrit dans l’objectif de l’association de mettre de l’avant des conversations communes sur la façon dont les pratiques savantes peuvent contribuer aux efforts de réconciliation et d’utiliser ces conversations comme principe directeur du travail de notre association.

L’ACÉC souhaite encourager explicitement la participation à l’association des pens·eur·euse·s et créateu·r·ice·s les plus touché·e·s par le racisme systémique, le colonialisme, la misogynie, le capacitisme, la trans- et l’homophobie, y compris ceux qui envisagent de se joindre à nous pour la première fois ou qui y reviennent et recherchent une communauté de soutien intellectuelle et créative. Alors que l’ACÉC continue d’essayer d’apporter des changements systémiques importants, elle accueille favorablement les commentaires et la participation à tous les niveaux de l’association, qu’il s’agisse d’être membre, présentat·eur·rice de conférence ou président·e de groupe d’expert·e·s, d’assumer des rôles de leadership au sein de l’exécutif et des groupes de travail.

L’ACÉC est présentement à la recherche de propositions pour la conférence virtuelle 2022 organisée conjointement avec le Congrès. Le Comité de conférence s’engage à assurer la programmation d’approches antiracistes et anticoloniales de la recherche, de la pédagogie, de l’archivage et d’autres pratiques institutionnelles liées à l’étude du cinéma et des médias. Les propositions sur ces sujets sont particulièrement les bienvenues.

Dans une élaboration du thème du Congrès « Transitions », le thème de l’ACÉC 2022 Futurités écraniques accueille des présentations qui considèrent les futurs possibles et préférés que nous tenons pour nos paysages cinématographiques et médiatiques. La conférence est à la recherche de présentations qui examinent le concept de « futurité » au sens large, tel qu’il s’applique à tous les médias écraniques.  Le concept de futurité invite à la réflexion sur la temporalité et à la reconnaissance de nombreux sites clés de lutte ou d’indétermination dans le présent. Nous invitons des projets sur le cinéma, les médias et les mouvements sociaux et visuels qui centrent le concept de futurité dans la théorie et la pratique comme un moyen d’engager notre média d’étude alors qu’ils se transforment et se déplacent dans l’ère numérique.

Les temporalités, y compris la futurité, sont cruciales pour notre témoignage collectif des changements nécessaires et des comptes à rendre dans nos sphères politiques et institutionnelles. Elles aident à orienter notre recherche vers la reconnaissance et la déconstruction active de la violence et des préjudices encore perpétrés contre les communautés racisées, genrées et autres communautés marginalisées. À cette fin, le thème encourage les projets portant sur les chevauchements entre le cinéma, les médias et les mouvements sociaux et visuels qui recentrent la futurité dans la théorie et la pratique, y compris l’afrofuturisme, les futurismes autochtones, les futurismes queer, trans et féministes, et les éco-futurismes.

 

Les propositions soumises au comité de la conférence peuvent reprendre des sujets liés au thème de la conférence ou porter sur tout autre sujet d’études cinématographiques ou médiatiques.

La conférence 2022 de l’ACÉC se tiendra dans un format virtuel sous la forme d’un rassemblement synchrone en ligne de présentations individuelles, de panels, d’ateliers, de tables rondes et de projections via la plate-forme de vidéoconférence du Congrès.

 

Veuillez noter que seules les propositions soumises par des membres dont l’adhésion à l’association est en règle seront considérées. Les membres de l’association ressortant des communautés Noires, Autochtones et racisées peuvent renouveler leur adhésion sans frais. 

Les adhésions peuvent être obtenues / renouvelées ici : https://www.filmstudies.ca/membership

 

Le comité de la conférence accueille favorablement les propositions pour :

  • Présentations individuelles
  • Panels préconstitués
  • Ateliers ou tables rondes
  • Projections, expositions ou autres événements virtuels

 

Options de participation et instructions de soumission :

  1. Panels préconstitués : Pour la Conférence 2022, nous encourageons fortement la construction de panels préconstitués pour assurer une plus grande cohérence et un dialogue entre individus partageant des intérêts de recherche. Veuillez soumettre un appel pour votre panel préconstitué à l’adresse courriel de la Conférence d’ici le 15 décembre pour que le Comité de la Conférence puisse le distribuer à l’ensemble des membres en votre nom. Cet appel devrait inclure un titre temporaire, un aperçu de 250-350 mots de l’objectif thématique du panel, une liste de mots-clés, une liste de sujets possibles sous le thème du panel et les coordonnées du/de la président·e du panel.Nous distribuerons les appels à panels préconstitués aux membres de l’association en votre nom d’ici le 17 décembre2021 et fixerons une date limite pour la soumission aux président·e·s de panel d’ici le 15 janvier 2022 afin de s’assurer que toute personne non acceptée à ce moment-là puisse réviser sa soumission pour la date butoir pour les propositions individuelles, soit le 31 janvier 2022. Veuillez soumettre votre panel préconstitué finalisé au Comité de la conférence d’ici le 31 janvier 2022.

Les panels préconstitués devraient être soumis par le/la président·e du panel proposé et inclure :

    • Un courriel d’introduction comprenant le nom, le poste, l’affiliation institutionnelle et l’adresse courriel du/de la président·e du panel
    • Le titre du panel
    • Un résumé de 250-350 mots décrivant l’objectif du panel
    • Mots-clés (3-5)
    • Titre des présentations et résumés (150 mots)

2. Format de la proposition individuelle : 

    • Dans un courriel, incluez le nom de l’appliquant, les affiliations, une courte biographie (50 mots) et le titre de la présentation
    • Joindre un résumé de 250 à 350 mots (avec titre)
    • Mots-clés (3-5) et références bibliographiques (2-5)
    • **Les propositions individuelles seront évaluées à l’aveugle; veuillez ne pas inclure le nom ou l’affiliation dans la pièce jointe

3. Les propositions d’ateliers et de tables rondes devraient comprendre les renseignements suivants :

    • Nom, poste, affiliation institutionnelle et adresse courriel du/de la président·e
    • Titre de l’atelier ou de la table ronde
    • Résumé de 250 à 350 mots décrivant le thème / l’orientation envisagée et le format prévu
    • Mots-clés (3-5)
    • Liste des participant·e·s, y compris leur nom, leur poste, leur affiliation institutionnelle et leur courriel

4. Événements spéciaux :

    • Nom(s), poste, affiliation institutionnelle et adresse électronique de l’artiste(s)
    • Titre du film, des médias, de l’événement, le cas échéant
    • Résumé de 250-350 mots décrivant le thème / la visée de l’événement et / ou le synopsis du film ou des médias à présenter, de même que le support et le format de présentation qu’il prendra.
    • Mots-clés (3-5)
    • Toute demande ou exigence technologique spéciale

Veuillez soumettre vos propositions de présentations, de panels, d’ateliers, de tables rondes et d’événements spéciaux au Comité de la conférence d’ici le 31 janvier 2022.

 

Informations complémentaires :

  • Les présentations peuvent être en français ou en anglais.
  • Les organisat·eur·rice·s d’ateliers et de tables rondes ne devraient pas hésiter à utiliser la liste d’envoi de l’ACÉC afin de solliciter des gens dans l’ensemble de l’association.
  • Vous pouvez participer à un maximum de deux activités, dont aucune ne peut être du même genre (c.-à-d. que vous pouvez proposer une proposition et un panel, mais pas deux de l’un ou l’autre type, qu’ils soient uniques ou co-écrits).
  • Les présentations individuelles devraient durer un maximum de 15 minutes (clips inclus). La durée des ateliers, des présentations de tables rondes et des événements spéciaux peut varier selon la session, jusqu’à un maximum de 2-2,5 heures idéalement.
  • Toutes les propositions seront jugées par le Comité de la conférence.
  • Toutes les présentations à la conférence ACÉC doivent être originales. Les propositions présentées précédemment ne seront pas acceptées.
  • Pour donner suite au succès de la soirée de clôture et de lancement de livre de l’an dernier, nous rendrons disponibles plus de salles de réunion décontractées tout au long de la conférence pour favoriser les rencontres sociales.

Financement des étudiant·e·s des cycles supérieurs :

  • Une compensation financière partielle pour les membres étudiants est normalement consacrée aux frais de déplacement. Étant donné que cette conférence est virtuelle, vous pouvez postuler pour cette année uniquement pour réduire vos frais de conférence à la place. Plus de détails et le formulaire de demande seront affichés en janvier à https://www.filmstudies.ca/category/grad-students

Besoins audiovisuels :

  • Le comité de la conférence de l’ACÉC travaillera en étroite collaboration avec les membres pour s’assurer que nous soutenons vos besoins en organisant des présentations et en fournissant un document d’instruction au printemps en prévision de la conférence.

Présidente du programme de la conférence : Shana MacDonald (Présidente, ACÉC)

Department of Communication Arts, University of Waterloo

president@filmstudies.ca or shana.macdonald@uwaterloo.ca

 

APL 2022—May 26-29

NATURE: ANIMAL, MORAL, TECHNOLOGICAL

Call for Papers

 

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow

– Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man”

 

When, in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1802), William Wordsworth insisted that an “overbalance of pleasure” entails the “circumstance of meter,” he confirmed a philosophical assumption far older than Kant’s theory of the sublime. The pervasive assumption—which, today, can be tracked in an on-going “affective turn” (necessarily entangled in matters of form and style)—is that the artificial makes possible an understanding of the natural.

But Wordsworth was writing in the twilight of the Industrial Revolution—or what is arguably the dawn of the Anthropocene. For this reason alone, we might be justified in dismissing his romantic conception of poetry as mere “correlationism”—what Ian Bogost caustically defines as the “the tradition of human access that seeps from the rot of Kant.” Faced with the impending consequences of climate change, withering biodiversity, proliferating microplastics, etc.—is it not finally time (as various “new materialists” have asserted) to undo Kant’s “Copernican revolution” and, thus, the primacy of human perception within the nature of things? But what are the alternatives? To approach Quentin Meillassoux’s “great outdoors” we must employ very human tools, such as carbon dating and mathematics. To know and describe Bogost’s various non-human “things” we must resort—à la romanticism—to “metaphorism.” As in Aristotle, phúsis remains inextricable from tékhnē: from art, from technology. Or, to follow Derrida, the latter persists as an inescapable supplement.

In our efforts to surmount the problem of “human access,” do we therefore risk repeating (even more blindly) the violence and immorality of anthropocentrism? If so, is our only option to re-approach nature paradoxically via its antithesis: solar panels and wind turbines that can save us from green-house gases; virtual simulations that can measure distance better than any animal eye; digital photography and narrative structures that might preserve the nature of indigenous life; genetic engineering that can dissolve the distinction between nature and its others? Should we then re-consider the moral roadblocks embodied in our narrative and philosophical efforts to imagine the posthuman—from Mary Shelley’s monster and Philip K. Dick’s androids to Donna Haraway’s cyborgs and Octavia Butler’s aliens?

Surrounded by the sublime weight and majesty of the Rocky Mountains in Banff, Canada, these are the questions we hope to address—as we attempt to “think” (yet again) Nature: Animal, Moral, Technological.

Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The Meaning of nature and the natural
  • Conceptions of the beautiful and the sublime
  • Humanity’s domination and subordination of nature
  • The role of philosophy and/or literature in an ongoing environmental crisis
  • Literature and/or philosophy as forms of environmental activism
  • The possibility of defining the very “nature” we seek to protect
  • Biodiversity and/as the polyphonic or heteroglot text
  • The rise and efficacy of so-called new materialisms (including thing theory, object-oriented ontology/philosophy, speculative realism/materialism, actor-network theory, etc.)
  • The rise and efficacy of eco-criticism in literary and cultural criticism, including ecofeminism
  • The link between new materialism and postcritique, or “surface reading”
  • Literary depictions and/or philosophical considerations of cybernetics, genetics, and/or conceptions of post- and/or transhumanism
  • Affect and its relation to narrative/mimetic form
  • Animal-human-machine relations; speciesism
  • The nature of race and racism
  • Sex and gender, biology and interpellation
  • Psychoanalytic conceptions of the unconscious, drives (vs. instincts), polymorphous perversity, etc.
  • Biopsychology and essentialism
  • Indigenous cultures and approaches to nature
  • The role of technology in studies of the natural (from the natural sciences to anthropology and ethnography)
  • Writing or filming “nature”
  • The post-postmodern nostalgia for authenticity; efforts to surmount “the precession of simulacra”
  • The nature of morality; the moral obligation to nature
  • Ontology today
  • Phúsis and/as tékhnē
  • Implications, dating, and meaning of the Anthropocene

 

Proposals for individual papers, panels (of 3-4 participants), or roundtables of (5-6 participants) can be submitted on the APL website (philosophyliterature.com), or via the following link.

Proposals (for individual papers, panels, or roundtables) should be no more than 300 words. Proposals should also include a title and a short biographical description of each participant. Bios should be no more than 75 words.

The deadline for submissions is Dec 15, 2021.

Please send questions to the conference organizers: Alain Beauclair (beauclaira@macewan.ca) & Josh Toth (tothj3@macewan.ca)